Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Today we had Andy Jarosz: Travel Correspondent
This month we're looking at Travel Agencies and some new destinations. As we approach the end of the year many think about planning holidays. Last minute deals often bear fruits but also consider booking a long time ahead as tour operators can improve the holiday experience by having an early idea of numbers. In the last 2-3 years travel companies have suffered financial losses with some going under altogether, therefore it is wise to make sure your agent, tour operator and even airline are bonded with ATOL or ABTA - a lesser company may not get you home if they go under but a fully affiliated company will be under obligation. Also worth bearing in mind is that companies like to retain customers as much as possible and may offer discounts and offers - so if you had a good experience with an operator it pays to go back.
Today's show looked at up and coming destinations, Portugal known for the Algarve, but north of it is the beautiful Alentejo region - a little bit cooler than the Med, it has beaches and vineyards, historic towns and you can also rent houseboats in an artificial lake that's been created there.
A little further afield are many islands in the Caribbean Islands such as Trinidad and Tobago and the little known Turks and Caicos - where you can discover not just beaches, but history, culture and walking trails.
One other thing to consider is countries which are off the Unsafe to Travel list, one of which is the East Asian country Burma. A few years ago saw political struggle and protests but democracy has taken a better hold and it is becoming a popular destination yet again. Don't expect much 5-star luxury but if you are willing to rough it just a little you will find some of the best buddhist temples in the East and be treated well by rural Burmese.
Another place whcih many will not consider is Beirut - its' past problems are well documented but it is fast becoming a hip and cool destination with waterfronts, nighclubs and restaurants and is recommended for a 4-5 day break. For information please visit the Foreign Office website for advice on safe places to travel.
Andy's website can be found at www.501places.com